SPARK: York CIC

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Unconventional Design were a part of the Spark York project right at its origins. Approached by director Sam Leach with a bold idea to install a shipping container community hub in the heart of historic York’s city centre, Clare and James were set the task to help Sam bring his vision to life. We care deeply for our local community and this was certainly something we wanted to see happen in our home town.


Immediately we produced lay out plans, scale models and visuals to help Sam see how his concept could come to life. Following this James was heavily involved with helping the growing Spark York directorship take the concept through the planning process and help provide costings and local trades to help deliver the highly controversial project.


Unconventional Design became the principle contractor for the build and worked at every stage of the process from designs for each of the 27 shipping containers, fit out of all containers, groundworks, the mammoth install of the huge 40ft containers and finally to the installation of all elements of the main site. James and the team worked tirelessly to help bring the project to it’s opening, helping and working for the variety of small business owners and start-ups setting up in the container park. Clare ran a community arts programme bringing in local and international artists and involving local charities to collaborate on decorating the site alongside a local landscape architect.


It was by no means an easy task but we delivered the project under sometimes very difficult circumstances and all within a limited budget but it remains without a doubt one of our proudest achievements.